Smoking gun in Rabbani murder points to Pakistan

Supporters of the slain former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani shout slogans during a protest against the Taliban and Pakistan in Kabul on September 27, 2011 (AFP Photo / SHAH Marai)
Afghani intelligence obtained the addresses and photos of those complicit in the assassination of former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani and handed them over to the Pakistani embassy in Kabul.

A spokesman for the Afghan intelligence service, Lutifullah Mashal, pinpointed the town of Satellite, near Quetta, as the place from where the plot originated.

On Friday, current President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai claimed that Rabbani's killing was plotted in the Pakistani city of Quetta and promised that an Afghani investigation team would travel to Pakistan to investigate the murder.

Karzai has told Islamabad that if it fails to cooperate in the investigation, the evidence will be handed over to the Americans.

Afghanistan's Ministers of Defense and Interior, the Chief of National Directorate of Security and the Attorney General’s office have all been drafted onto the commission investigating Rabbani’s death.

Burhanuddin Rabbani was killed by a suicide bomber on September 20 while conducting peace negotiations with the Taliban.

The Taliban has not claimed responsibility for his death.

According to BBC News, President Hamid Karzai has said that if it is found that the Taliban were behind the assassination, “then there is no need to continue the peace negotiations with them.”

On Saturday, Afghanistan officially announced a halt to all contacts with the Taliban, cancelling a meeting in Kabul scheduled for October 8.

Afghanistan’s deputy national security adviser, Shaida Mohammad Abdali, said that from now on Kabul will have a “trust but verify” approach toward Islamabad, particularly when dealing with peace talks.

This comes as bad news for the US which has been trying to calm tensions between the neighbors for some time as it prepares for the withdrawal of coalition troops from Afghanistan in 2014.